More Culture:

September 21, 2023

The Menzingers shot a music video at Lynnewood Hall, the Gilded Age mansion in Elkins Park

'Come on Heartache' is off the rock band's upcoming album, 'Some Of It Was True.' The estate in Montgomery County was recently acquired by a preservation group

Music Rock And Roll

The Menzingers' new music video for 'Come On Heartache,' off their forthcoming album, was filmed at Lynnewood Hall in Elkins Park.

The Menzingers' blend of anthemic power-pop, catchy punk and full-hearted rock has made them a reliable bet to deliver moving tunes and legendary live performances over the years.

The Philadelphia-based band, originally formed in Scranton, will release its seventh album, "Some Of It Was True," on Oct. 13 via Epitaph Records. One of the singles from the new album, "Come On Heartache," took the band to Lynnewood Hall, the sprawling 19th century estate in Elkins Park, to film a music video.

MORE CULTURE3 Philly restaurants make New York Times' 2023 list of best in America

Lynnewood Hall was once the home of industrialist Peter A.B. Widener, who helped modernize Philadelphia's public transit system and was a founding partner in U.S. Steel and the American Tobacco Company. The mansion, built between 1897 and 1900, is considered the largest surviving Gilded Age home in the area.

The estate, at 920 Spring Ave., was acquired in July by the Lynnewood Hall Preservation Foundation. The group intends to restore the property for use as a place of education and recreation. It has sat vacant for two decades.

In the music video, The Menzingers appear in the estate's Great Hall and at various other locations on the 34-acre property. The song is a slow-burner that brings out the best of lead vocalist Greg Barnett's melodic sensibility.

"This one felt extra special from the get go, it's one of our favorites off the album and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do," the band said of the new single. "Thanks to Britain Weyant & co for crushing the video, and extra thanks to Lynnewood Hall for allowing us to film at their unbelievable location."

The Neoclassical Revival estate was designed by famed Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer, who also helped create the Philadelphia Museum of Art and other notable properties like Philadelphia's Land Title Building, the Union League of Philadelphia and the Keswick Theatre in Glenside.

Lynnewood Hall has 110 rooms, an art gallery, swimming pool, ballroom and studios for upholstery and carpentry. The grounds once had lush gardens that LHPF plans to restore for public visitation. 

Widener's time at Lynnewood Hall was short-lived. He died in 1915, three years after his son and grandson were killed in the sinking of the Titanic. The estate passed through a series of owners in the ensuing decades and became the subject of a lengthy court battle between Cheltenham Township and the First Korean Church of New York, whose owner had purchased the property in a sheriff's sale in 1996 and wanted it rezoned as a tax-exempt church. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ultimately affirmed a lower court ruling in favor of the township in 2013.

The mansion sat empty and was put up for sale several times in the ensuing years. It was surrounded by security and guard dogs. Some photographers and videographers managed to get inside to document the estate, and on occasion others were permitted to enter and take photos. 

Cheltenham rezoned Lynnewood Hall for adaptive reuse and mixed-use development in 2017. The following year, the nonprofit LHPF formed and began raising money for the estate's preservation. The multimillion dollar restoration is set to take place in stages, with portions of the property potentially set to reopen some time next year after the grounds are rehabilitated.

The Menzingers told Antimusic that their upcoming album has special significance to them. It expands beyond their personal storytelling and brings in outside themes and experiences that have inspired them.

"This record just feels different for us," Barnett said. "It's a really important one in our catalog, and a pivotal moment in our history. We have the liberty of our fans growing with us now, and after writing these lyrical songs about where we are in life, we decided to take other peoples' stories and make something bigger out of it."

The band is set to perform at Philadelphia's Franklin Music Hall on Nov. 12.